‘Minor damages’ sustained during fire in New Ipswich home

  • A home on Ashby Road in New Ipswich caught fire on Friday, Firefighters say the fire likely started because of electrical wiring. Courtesy photo

  • A home on Ashby Road in New Ipswich caught fire on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Firefighters say the fire likely started because of electrical wiring. The home only sustained minor damages and both occupants were able to get out of the house and to safety.  Courtesy photo

  • A home on Ashby Road in New Ipswich caught fire on Friday. Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, February 12, 2018 5:40PM

Firefighters battled back a blaze that broke loose in a New Ipswich home on Ashby Road at the corner of Willard Road Friday morning.

A neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was driving by the 374 Ashby Road residence when he saw smoke billowing from a shed that’s attached to the home. The man said when he saw the smoke, he pulled over, dialed 911, and then started helping while crews rushed to the scene.

New Ipswich Fire Chief Meredith Lund said there were two people, the owner and a tenant, in the home at the time of the fire.

Karen Haskett owns the house, according to the town’s tax records. 

She said the homeowner did hear fire alarms ringing, but ignored the shrilling noise, assuming that the tenant living in the house had burned something in the kitchen. The neighbor who stopped to help was able to alert the homeowner that those alarms were real and that the house was on fire.

Lund said both were able to get out to safety. She said animals made it out unscathed, too.

Fire crews showed up on the scene at around 9:50 a.m. The first arriving units saw heavy smoke showing from the Willard Road side of the residence between the residence and a small addition. A second alarm was struck, and later, a third was requested for tankers to bring water to the scene, according to a release. The fire was called under control at about 10:45 a.m. All units were cleared from the scene at about 12:45 p.m.

Lund said one firefighter suffered minor injuries after a board hit him in the head while on the scene. Lund said the firefighter was wearing protective equipment, but that the firefighter reported having a headache afterward. The firefighter was transported to Monadnock Community Hospital where he was treated and released. On Monday, Lund said the firefighter is “doing well.”

Lund said damage to the house is “minimal.” She said neighbors offered the homeowner a place to stay for the night, but that the woman declined the offers and opted to stay in her own home that night. 

Lund said the fire ignited due to electrical wiring issues, although the exact point hasn’t been located. 

She urged people to learn how to use a fire extinguisher and warned people to take fire alarms seriously.

Lund said the neighbor who helped went “above and beyond” to help with the situation. 

“We really want to recognize the fact that he took the time to stop and go above and beyond to make sure [the homeowner] was out,” Lund said.

She said that attitude is “worth a lot.” Lund said the department will do something to recognize his efforts at the fire station in the near future.

The neighbor who helped didn’t think much of his efforts though. 

“What are you going to do if you see smoke coming out of a house, are you going to go home and eat breakfast?” the man said, adding that he missed breakfast that morning. 

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.